Church of San Nicolò in Savoca was the filming location of some of the most iconic scenes set in The Godfather movie, such as the wedding of Michael Corleone and Apollonia.
Where is the Church of San Nicolò located?
- The Church of San Nicolò is located in a spectacular Savoca village, in southeast Sicily. The church is perched on a panoramic spot, high above, overlooking the Ionian Sea. There are breathtaking views all around.
- The church is located just a short walking distance from the equally famous Bar Vitelli which was the setting of other important scenes in Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather movie.
- The Church of San Nicolò’s physical address: Via S. Nicolò, 4, 98038 Savoca ME, Italy.
Church of San Nicolò in The Godfather Movie
Even though The Godfather movie is set in Corleone, a town in the Metropolitan City of Palermo, the filming of the movie actually took place in other locations. The town of Corleone looked too modern, so Francis Ford Coppola chose other small Sicilian villages that were still untouched by modernization. The Godfather movie’s Sicily locations included the villages of Savoca and Forza d’Agro.
It’s in the Church of San Nicolò in Savoca that Michael Corleone got married to his Sicilian wife, Apollonia. In the movie, Michael Corleone and his new wife are seen walking from the church to the cheers of the guests at the wedding. This church is clearly visible in the background of the scene.
History of the church
The Church of San Nicolò was originally built in the 13th century. The church was substantially rebuilt in the 15th century and then in the 18th century. This resulted in a big change to the appearance of the church. The church’s current architectural style resembles a fortress.
Why Visit the Church of San Nicolò
- The Church of San Nicolò was the filming location of the Sicilian wedding scene of Michael Corleone and Apollonia in The Godfather movie. If you are a fan of the movie, you have to visit this well-preserved church.
- The church is set at the top of the hill, and the views are breathtaking. You can walk to the church right from the Bar Vitelli, another filming location of The Godfather movie. The scenery as you walk to the church is spectacular. At the top, you are rewarded with a beautiful view of Savoca, as well as the view of the Ionian coast.
- This peaceful church is exceptionally beautiful, and it looks like a fortress. It also has a fascinating interior.
Quick Facts About Savoca
- Savoca is a hilltop medieval village in Sicily.
- The village is perched on a hill overlooking the Ionian coast. Savoca’s elevation is 300 meters above sea level.
- Savoca is included as one of Italy’s Most Beautiful Villages (I borghi più belli d’Italia).
The Church of San Nicolò has a fascinating exterior that resembles a fortress. Even if you’re not a fan of The Godfather movie, you will be impressed with this little church.
The Church of San Nicolò has a simple but very inviting interior.
Another Godfather Movie Location – Bar Vitelli
Bar Vitelli was one of the filming locations of the first Godfather movie by Francis Ford Coppola. It’s here that Michael Corleone ( Al Pacino) meets the bar owner, the father of his future wife Apollonia. The Bar Vitelli is also the place where Michael Corleone asks for the permission of Apollonia’s father to marry his daughter.
The bar is only a short walking distance from the Church of San Nicolò.
Interesting Sights and Landmarks Nearby
While the Church of San Nicolò is certainly a fascinating landmark to explore, the village of Savoca has a very rich history and is certainly worth the visit.
Other interesting sights near the Church of San Nicolò include Porta della Città di Savoca – the City Gate to Savoca (dating back to the 12th century), the convent and the church of the Capuchins, and the ruins of the Castle of Pentefur. The Castle of Pentefur has centuries of history, including the Byzantine, Norman and Renaissance periods.
Other historical churches in Savoca include Church of San Michele and Church of Santa Maria in Cielo Assunta (Chiesa Madre – the mother church of Savoca).